The Vif protein of primate lentiviruses interacts with APOBEC3 proteins, which results in shunting of the APOBEC3-Vif complex to the proteosome for degradation. Using the simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV)/macaque model, we compared the replication and pathogenicity of SHIVs that express a Vif protein in which the entire SLQYLA (SHIVVif5A) or HCCH (SHIVVifHCCH(-)) domains were substituted with alanine residues. Each virus was inoculated into three macaques and various viral and immunological parameters followed for 6months. All macaques maintained stable circulating CD4+ T cells, developed low viral loads, maintained the engineered mutations, yielded no histological lesions, and developed immunoprecipitating antibodies early post-inoculation. Sequence analysis of nef and vpu from three lymphoid tissues revealed a high percentage of G-to-A-substitutions. Our results show that while the presence of HCCH and SLQYLA domains are critical in vivo, there may exist APOBEC3 negative reservoirs that allow for low levels of viral replication and persistence but not disease.
- BC box
- Rhesus macaques
- Simian-human immunodeficiency virus
- Zn binding motif
ASJC Scopus subject areas